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Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 466: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Sun Ra – We’re Living In The Space Age ++ Honeyboy Martin & The Voices – Dreader Than Dread ++ Johnny & The Attractions – I’m Moving On ++ Andersons All Stars – Intensified Girls ++ King Sporty – DJ Special ++ Freddie Mackay – When I’m Gray ++ Hopeton Lewis – Sound And Pressure ++ The Upsetters – Popcorn ++ Willie Williams – Armageddon Time ++ Sister Nancy – Bam Bam ++ Nora Dean – Angie La La ++ The Upsetters – Taste Of Killing ++ The Skatalites – Herb Man Dub ++ Lloyd & Glen – That Girl ++ The Jamaicans – Ba Ba Boom ++ Hopeton Lewis – Let Me Come On Home ++ Byron Lee – Hot Reggae ++ Ernest Ranglin – Below The Bassline ++ Errol Dunkley – The Scorcher ++ Los Holy’s – Cissy Strut ++ Slim Smith – Hip Hug ++ The Reggae Boys – Selassie ++ Dave Barker – Funky Reggae ++ Johnny Clarke – Rebel Soldiering ++ Mad A – Aouh Aouh ++ Clarendonians – You Won’t See Me ++ Ebo Taylor – Love And Death ++ Peter King – African Dialects ++ Dorothy Ashby – Soul Vibrations ++ Sun Ra – Angels & Demons ++ Alton Ellis – Whiter Shade of Pale ++ Mor Thiam – Ayo Ayo Nene ++ Fatback Band – Goin’ To See My Baby ++ The Aggravators – Dub Is Shining ++ West African Cosmos – Emeraude ++ Mor Thiam – Ayo Ayo Nene (Blessings For The New Born Baby)

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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The enduring enigma of the unknown. A cornerstone of various compilations (both authorized and not) focused on subrosa 70s North Afican folk and pop, Abadane was a short-lived Algerian outfit — “Freedom (Hourya)” is their legacy.

Abadane :: Freedom (Hourya)

In 2008, via the first volume of Jazzman Record’s Spiriual Jazz series, I stumbled upon Senegalese drummer and bandleader Mor Thiam’sAyo Ayo Nene.” Cut in 1973, the track was originally found on Thiam’s Drums of Fire — a record that was beyond scarce. Until now. Jazzman has just reissued the LP. I cannot possibly spit enough hyperbolic praise here to do the track justice, so just press play, rinse and repeat. Oh yeah, Thiam is Akon’s pops.

Mor Thiam :: Ayo Ayo Nene (Blessing For The New Born Baby)

beansWith flowers tucked behind their ears and thumbs pointed West (cue music…) the youth of the mid-60s were hip to turn on, tune in and drop out. The high desert residents of Phoenix, Arizona were no strangers to the unearthly vibrations that were coming from the Bay Area. Local freakazoid Bill Spooner, later of The Tubes, was quick to channel that energy into a series of early psychedelic outfits including The XL’s, Oat Willy and the Dream Band and local celebrity Mike Condello’s aptly named band Condello, who released their debut tripper Phase 1 in 1968. During a sojourn to Los Angeles, things went sideways for the Condello’s with the band crumbling leaving Bill to return home and assemble the Beans. Featuring Bill on guitar the group also included Vince Welnick (The Tubes and later The Grateful Dead) on keyboards, Rick Anderson (The Tubes) on bass and drummer Bob Macintosh. As a collective, Beans hoisted their freak flag high and were quickly declared the biggest band in Phoenix by the end of 1969. And what do you do when you can’t get any bigger? You head (back) out west.

These three politically charged psych pop songs were recorded between 1969 and 1972 in various studios between Phoenix and their new adopted digs in San Francisco. Limited to 500 copies and housed in a unique die-cut jacket, Spill The Beans also includes a deep dive into the history of Bill Spooner’s early career, before Beans morphed into The Tubes, by Arizona music historian John P. Dixon.  words / d norsen

The Beans :: Empty Shoes

BNPhappenFINAL_HI_copy_1_grande26 years ago, when the Replacements called it quits the first time, it was hard to know what to expect from any of the individual members. For a brief moment though, it was Tommy Stinson who looked like he might best carry the band’s torch. 1993’s Friday Night Is Killing Me by his band Bash & Pop still holds up as maybe the most rollicking and rocking of any post-Replacements release. The band was short-lived, and Stinson was on to his next band in 1994, but that singular Bash & Pop album has held a place in the hearts of most deep fans of the Replacements since. Yet it came as somewhat of a shock, following the end of the Replacements’ recent reunion, that Stinson would announce he was releasing another album under the name Bash & Pop. While the band went through several members during its brief incarnation (and its sole album was recorded with a bevy of studio help alongside the band), original drummer Steve Foley’s death, and the fact no other original members would be involved, would seem to preclude the use of the name. And yet…here we are, and Anything Could Happen is the result.

Whether it’s something about the Bash & Pop name or the fact that the two albums were recorded following the demise of relationships (The Replacements, the former; Stinson’s marriage, the latter), the new album joins its predecessor as some of the best music Stinson has recorded outside of the Mats.

The energy is inherent from the get-go with opener “Not This Time” comprised of a ripping slide-guitar that carries its fast-loping beat before settling into “On the Rocks,” a song that sounds like a time capsule from the first Bash & Pop outing. While there are a number of songs that match that feel, much of the album sounds like a true successor rather than a replication. Starting with the title track, the album takes a spin through a set of songs that carry their fair share of emotional weight. The lovely “Breathing Room” is one of the finest examples of this, a thoughtful and soft examination from the inside of a relationship falling apart that manages to be both honest in its exhaustion, but sympathetic to the other party in a way that often goes unexplored.

The record isn’t without its flaws. “Unfuck You,” despite its short run time, is an attempt to play on words that doesn’t quite deserve even the amount of time it gets. “Jesus Loves You” similarly just sounds under-cooked. But these two songs, buried toward the end, don’t derail the album’s great build. If anything, they become something we expect from even the best Replacements’ albums – the few songs that you howl about how much you dislike them, but couldn’t imagine the album without them – their incompleteness making them that much more essential. Closer “Shortcut” manages to bring things back in a nice way, echoing Friday Night Is Killing Me‘s gorgeous closer “First Steps.”

Anything Can Happen is the best Tommy Stinson music since his band Perfect and maybe since Bash & Pop’s first go-round. While Stinson’s lyrics are a bit more brash than his former cohort Paul Westerberg, when he’s able to temper them with the right amount of pathos, the rougher spots become a perfect juxtaposition, making the lyrical focus shine all the more. It’s the perfect representation of the man who has probably been the hardest working Replacement of all. words / j neas

Bash & Pop :: Anything Could Happen

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In a relatively short period of time, Foxygen has managed to please, vex and elude a lot of listeners. Needlessly so, it seems. Over the course of a afternoon in conversation at member Jonathan Rado’s Los Angeles home, what emerges is that in spite of anyone’s desire to nail down outside influences, Foxygen is about two lifelong friends being on the same page. Almost four years since we last caught up with them, the duo of Rado and Sam France expounded on the conception and execution of their new album, Hang, how they’ve evolved as performers and record-makers, and the misconception that annoys them still.

Aquarium Drunkard: In 2012, when first speaking with us about Take The Kids Off Broadway, you were already plotting the release of We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, but you also said at the time that after that you planned to release a record called … And Star Power and then one called Hang. And now, here we are. So…how long has this record actually been gestating?

Sam France: Well, I guess it’s been a long time.

Jonathan Rado: It’s been probably since around that time. I would say that is pretty much around the time we came up with the title and the idea. Because we had recorded that song [“Hang” from … And Star Power] around that time, three-and a half years ago – the version that’s on that record, before we’d even begun recording for that record. And we knew then that we wanted to call an album Hang as well. That was a fresh idea when we brought it up to you.

AD: So how didactic was that planning? Did that mean that you sort of created a schedule, “we’re gonna do this, then this, then that” or was it more of a fun idea to kick around?

Sam France: Kinda like it’s our schedule, that’s how we do stuff.

Jonathan Rado: We’re lucky we were able to, we always planned on doing it.

AD: From then until the actual recording for this record, how did your vision and conception change?

Jonathan Rado: We actually wrote the songs back then – we had the idea that we wanted to do Hang and that we wanted to do it with an orchestra – that was always the idea, to do it with big arrangements and have it be a complete piece of music. The 21st album hadn’t even come out yet, so we recorded that, then we started making … And Star Power and focused really intently on that. A lot of these songs were really written during or before Star Power. We had the sound, conceptually, sketched out already.

AD: One of the things that came up when last spoke was that the material you were releasing and performing then had actually be completed for a while, and whether you were already over-it in a way. It seems like you’re still in that boat – it’s not like you could say you’ve had some nice down time in between records – you’re doing the same thing again. How does that feel?

Jonathan Rado: We’re constantly thinking ahead. We’re slightly more caught up than we were at that point. We’re already gestating the next couple of records, the next album at least is starting to form. At that point, back in 2012, we were anxious, we had too many ideas. Too many ideas to even begin to start to make. We’ve gotten a bit older and have caught up with ourselves, we have a more natural schedule but we’re still ahead of the game a little bit.

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Composer Josiah Steinbrick suggests that LIVE, the new four-song EP (mini-LP, maybe?) by his Banana ensemble is “For those in search of a bath, a rinse, a departure, or an expansion.” Who among us couldn’t go for that? Recorded live on reel to reel tape for airing as a special program on Dublab, LIVE taps into Steinbrink’s inspirations. The recordings bubble with Steve Reich-style repetition, employ Saturnian melodies inspired by Sun Ra, and explore the alien pop landscapes of Arthur Russell. As a project, Banana keys into Yellow Magic Orchestra’s dissection of the “exotica” concept and dives into Jon Hassell’s Fourth World aesthetic, blending global sounds, jazz, minimalism, neoclassicism, and new age, as part of “an ongoing questioning of the dichotomies between North and South, sacred and sensual, primitive and futurist.”

This incarnation of Banana is a stacked one, with Huw Evans, Stephen Black, Cate Le Bon, Josh Klinghoffer, and Stella Mozgawa joining Steinbrink (the lineup also performed as Le Bon’s band for her Crab Day promotional tour). The band’s interplay is truly special. On “Banana A,” they lock into a pulsing groove, which opens wider and wider as the composition pushes on. “Banana B” explicitly evokes the genre-bent forms of Arthur Russell, Black’s clarinet and Evans’ guitar duetting over piano chording. “Banana C” revisits the minimalist textures of the opening song, but feels looser, with blurting sax and jazzy piano rolls over a looping bass riff. On the closer “Banana D,” the band departs for entirely serene terrains, with only sparse reed work accompanying Steinbrink’s pastoral playing, which evokes the measured tones of Erik Satie.

In an interview with the influential online music magazine Perfect Sound Forever, Hassell once explained his Fourth World aims: “Fourth World is an entire week of Saturdays. It’s about heart and head as the same thing. It’s about being transported to some place which is made up of both real and virtual geography.” On LIVE, Steinbrick and co. inhabit Hassell’s philosophy, creating soundscapes in which the spiritual and intellectual mingle. words/j woodbury

Banana LIVE comes out January 27th via Leaving Records.